Validating communication

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The Main tenet of Linehan’s biosocial theory is that “the core disorder in BPD is emotional dysregulation.In other words people with BPD have difficulties regulating several, if not all, their emotions.” There is a biological component and an environmental component.One of the most important emotional skills is the skill of validation. Whether it is or ever will be part of the academic or corporate measures of emotional intelligence, I really don't know. But once most people start, and feel safe and validated, they will continue.But I do know that if you want to have better relationships with people, the skill of emotional validation is extremely useful. Validation allows a person to release their feelings in a healthy, safe and supportive way. Thus it builds bonds of caring, support, acceptance, understanding and trust.You are not confirming that the contents in the package are in good shape.You are not confirming that the contents are what you ordered. Likewise, validation is confirming that the other person has specific feelings.

This chapter describes some of the ways in which unvalidated input can be exploited, and some coding techniques to practice and to avoid.We help them feel heard, acknowledged, understood and accepted. It was obvious by his face that he was scared and I wanted to share, understand, and validate his feeling.Sometimes validation entails listening, sometimes it is a nod or a sign of agreement or understanding, sometimes it can be a hug or a gentle touch. But after I asked if he were a little bit scared and before he had a chance to answere the other social worker interupted us and in a scolding tone of voice told him there was nothing to be afraid of! When someone is experiencing a strong feeling, sometimes we "try to help" by telling her or him "it's not so bad." This attempt to minimize the negative experience -- to save someone from the struggle, actually undermines the effort to help.Validation is not agreeing with their emotional experience, it is reassuring them that it is okay for them to feel the way they do.If you order a product and someone calls to confirm that you received it, you might say, “Yes, I got the package.” You are only confirming that you received the package.

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